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Amp suggestion

 
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pdwhelan
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:37 pm    Post subject: Amp suggestion Reply with quote

At the moment i'm using a Cyrus One MK1 amp with my Kef Calinda's.. it sounds really good, but i want to upgrade my amp again, maybe an AudioLab8000A. Whats everyones thoughts on these particular amps? Would it work well with my Kef Calinda compared to my Cyrus?.

I know the Audiolab is slightly more powerfull than the cyrus and the Calinda's don't really require much power to drive them. I know its down to how everyone like's the way their hi-fi sounds too but i like a bit of LF with a good clear HF. I listen to various styles of music, so i need to cover everything (mainly indie, jazz).

I was also thinking of buying a valve amplifier but i don't have any experience with them and my budget isn't too high. 200 max infact, but i was only hoping to spend about 100 - 150. What are your thoughts?.

Thanks for reading


Paul
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lexi
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it sounds really good it may take a helluva upgrade to get it sounding the smallest bit better.........dealers may tell you different. Try to get a listen to an amp from a friend to see what you may or may not gain.

Not many valve amps about at that price unless it is a project to rebuild. Valve amps are a bit of a fad at the mo. Much bettere VFM in Tranny Amps IMO. Only heard the Audiolab in Demos. You have to hear it in your own system really..........that is your reference. How people can walk into a demo room and then say they heard a tonearm is beyond me Rolling Eyes
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pdwhelan
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want somthing a little bit more meaty, Bidding on an Arcam Delta 90 at the moment, heard good reviews about them from people i know. I'm always swapping my hifi about though so maybe one day i'll find that sound i'll like. happy with my Kef Calinda's though, favourite part of my hi-fi.
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David
Intermediate Contributor 75+


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 90
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valve amps can take a lot of work to get going and keep going. At 100-150 GBP there is not a lot of choice, unless you were to find something in an estate sale or garage sale that someone did not know the value. Rather unlikely and then it would likely need a lot of work. If you don't know about them, or how to fix them it might be wise to either find out or avoid them. You can practice on small tube radios, but there is very high voltage going through those, even lethal voltage.

My suggestion is to look for the Antique Sound Labs Wave 8. This is a modern amp now out of production. This is a 6bm8 push pull mono block amp and you need 2. They are likely in your price range. They sound very very good for the money. They put out only 8 wpc but these are tube watts and it sounds much more powerful than 8 watts ss. The tubes are cheap and still in production, which is a good thing.

They originally sold for $99 US, w/o cage and $129 with cage. The market now in North America is from $250-300 US. I got mine for $300 Cdn with cages and boxes. ASL started selling them, probably at a loss to get a position in the market. It has discontinued the model. It is very well built and constructed. I have been inside mine and they look great.


They were so good I sold my Naim Nait 1.

I agree with another poster that you should hear as many amps as you can.

The only qualification with the Wave 8s is you will need a pre if you want phono. I have mine connected with a homemade passive pre, with Alps Black Beauty. No phono, but a QED switching unit to go between tuner and CD.

It works really well. I have them with a set of MF MC2s which are about 88db/watt. I have tried them with my Spendor BC1s and they drove them well. The spendors are 84db/watt.

I am sure they can drive your Kefs.

David
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pdwhelan
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post David, i have just recently bought a Nad 3020A Amp and i'm really really impressed. Its in complete standard condition and its near mint too so i'm planning to upgrade it by replacing power caps and other things too, got loads of documents on it so i'll be doing my research first.

I was advised by an uncle not to bother with the vavle option unless i shed loads of money out and even then its hard to maintain. Maybe one for the future when i have a bit of spare cash and time, I don't really get to hear many amps because i only know of 3 other people interested in hi-fi like my self and thats my brother, cousin and uncle. Heard a good selection of amps from my uncle though as he's the only one out of the family that swap and change stuff more than any of us, well i'm getting just as bad lol

Thanks

Paul
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David
Intermediate Contributor 75+


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 90
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good choice Paul. As for replacing caps, I would suggest that if it is working well, leave it alone.

My Nait 2 is from 87 or 88 and has never had a recap. A tech in my area who did warranty work for Naim in the past, suggested it was unnecessary as well as a dealer in the area.

I had a Dyna ST70 with original electrolytics and it worked fine. My current 70 has had the can cap changed, and after I measured the original, I could see that one section had broken down.

A deterioating electrolytic in the power supply will result in audible 60 hz hum. You will know.

Any modification to the unit will detract from any resale value of the unit. I found out the hard way. I recently sold a Lafayette KT600 preamp in VG condition. It was a kit originally but designed by Stu Hegeman who had a great reputation in the States. A couple of parts were defective. I had to replace those. Since I was keeping the unit for myself at the time, I replaced all the electrolytics and coupling caps. It was a lot of work. The thing probably worked better than ever and certainly better than the shape I got it in. I received $427 from a fellow in Switzerland. Units in worse condition, sold as all original but "as is, untested" which means doesn't work usually sell for $600 +. Go figure.

Anyway the most I would do if you are inquisitive is lift the lid and do a visual inspection of the unit to see if any of the caps have leaked or are swollen or there is any sign of overheating. Be careful and don't' touch anything because the capacitors do maintain a charge even after the unit has been unplugged.

If you do get a chance at a Wave 8 pair cheap grab them, or if some fellow wants to give away his Quad IIs same thing, or call me I will take them.

Best regards

David
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speakerguru
VIP Contributor 750+


Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 954
Location: Green Hut, Tovil

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
A deteriorating electrolytic in the power supply will result in audible 60 hz hum.


Not in Wigan Very Happy
It'll be 50 Hz Twisted Evil
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pdwhelan
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol, i've yet to open the amp up and inspect its condition anyway but i'll be replacing the power supply caps as its a noticable upgrade apparently.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=93852
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David
Intermediate Contributor 75+


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 90
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are right speakerguru, forgot you chaps have 50 hz. Everywhere in the civilized world ex. NA, and Japan. Go figure.

Paul, I read the first page of posts on the link and I don't see that it is clear as to whether to change those caps will result in an improvement.

I assume NAD had the option of putting in larger caps at the time and what would it have cost? probably 1/2 GBP or less for all of them. The thing was voiced as it is and being one of the most successful budget integrateds ever, do you think that the non engineers, ie laypeople on the forum, actually know what they are doing or can do better without all the r & d budget that the NAD engineers had?

Maybe they do but I doubt it.

You say your NAD is near mint.

If you want to make mods, get a beat up one and mod to your hearts content. Your mods will seriously detract from the value of a near mint unit. Unless you can do really neat work that can be reversed, I would look for that 3020 junker.

My 2 cts. cdn.

Yes 60 hz here.

David
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pdwhelan
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are companys that do them profesionaly but it costs about 90, http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/nad3120upgrade_e.html

I have read a few reviews and i seem pretty convinced, i'll try and find the links to them later on.

I paid slightly over the odds for my amp though, 85 roughly but yet ive seen the exact same model sell for 40 and in the same condition. I may just buy another one to mod and see if i can make any improvments, like you say it will devalue the amp if i alter anything so i might just leave my own amp alone for now.

There always seem to be 3020's for sale on ebay though so its not like they're hard to get hold of either. Right now i'm concentrating on renewing the caps in my speakers crossovers and re-wiring them inside with some good quality cable.

Paul
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ajswinscoe
Intermediate Contributor 25+


Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 26
Location: wigan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dear dear cousin.
How many times.
If it isnt broken. Dont fix it.
Ive seen and heard this amp. With your set up it sounds geat. Better even.
You just cant help but maul.
But then. Who am i to criticise ?
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